The holidays are upon us, which means guests are coming to stay! We partnered with Casper to share our favorite ways hotels have inspired us to soup up guest bedrooms this year.
Inviting friends over after a dinner on the town, to dance barefoot into the wee hours of the hazy morning, is level 1 hosting. (It's just fine, and probably better, if you don't plan for it at all.) Inviting them to a proper adult dinner party is level 2 hosting—you'll need to prepare a certain amount, even if you're serving takeout. Level 3, of course, is hosting overnight guests. Making sure there's soap in the bathroom and clean sheets on the bed is just the start of your checklist.
And because the folks you put up in a spare bedroom are often loved ones, you'll want them to feel cozy, at home, and welcome when they stay with you. In the spirit of traveling for the holidays, we've went looking for the most thoughtful (but perhaps not obvious) ways to decorate a guest room—inspired by some of the coziest hotel rooms we've spotted this year.
Have wall hooks aplenty
In the Ace Hotel that opened in Pittsburgh last winter, the rooms have hooks jutting out from a bit of added molding that wraps the room—the perfect handy addition for guests who will want to put coats and bags somewhere that's easy to access.
You'll only want to spring for this option if molding fits the style of your home (i.e., not in a mid-century bungalow; yes in a shabby-chic tudor), but bonus incentive is that it will add contrast and character.
And if you aren't feeling up for such a heavy lift of an addition, just mount single wall hooks like those we spotted at the Durham Hotel—all in a neat row, or at alternating heights for a DIY wall pattern.
Make a place to sit and read and write (that isn't the bed!)
We're all for staying in bed as long as possible, whenever possible. But offering your houseguests a nook that's wholly intended for writing or reading—in the luxury of their own personal space or, you know, a corner of the living room—is the most practical sort of luxury.
DIY-ing this sort of nook doesn't have to mean buying a desk and a chair to wedge in the corner. It can be as simple as propping up a number of floor pillows near a side table, or as creative as the live-edged wood that we saw mounted between two columns at L.A.'s darling Hotel Covell, where our pop-up team stayed this summer.
Opt for light-filtering coverage for the windows
Every room at the Hotel Julien in Antwerp, where our design team went to scope out some factories earlier this year, had the softest, flutteriest light—thanks to slatted blinds and sheer, glowing roller shades, depending on the room.
You can also opt for more coverage (black-out shades or thick curtains) but something sheer will give it such a tranquil feel.
A photo posted by Amanda Hesser (@amandahesser) on
And if your guests are arriving, say, tomorrow, run out to Home Depot and get a set of $10 stick-on paper blinds. (They're actually kind of lovely.) Your guests, and your neighbors, will appreciate it!
Put a cushy rug right where they'll hop out of bed
At Hasbrouck House, a new boutique hotel in New York's Hudson Valley, the rooms have grand, richly-colored imported rugs snuggled right up under the beds (the positioning being the key takeaway for your own guest rooms). The owner mentioned to me how important he thinks it is to have something soft underfoot, right where your guests hop down from bed—a small, but impactful touch.
And if you don't want to spring for a whole area rug, two small softies (one for either side of the bed) will do the trick, too.
What hotel design has inspired your own interiors? Share your favorite stays in the comments.
Hosting during the holidays means spiffing up the house, too. We partnered with the mattress masters at Casper to share 4 ways we saw hotels do it best this year. (Psst: They're also offering Food52 readers $50 off mattresses—just use the code FOOD52 at checkout.)